Too many deaths, too many friends lost. They were cheated, drowned, and maimed. All died a horrible death—all because of one man: Gavin. It took some effort to track him down, but you traced him to his workshop and home. It is time to settle scores.
1. Gavin’s Interior Defenses
Above two stout wooden doors, bold yellow letters proclaims the building to be home to “Gavin’s Interior Defenses.” A smaller sign lets the reader know that admittance requires an appointment.
The doors are currently locked, and it requires a DC 28 Disable Device check to open them. The doors are of good quality and have hardness 5 and 15 hp each; their break DC is 18.
Whistling a tune, with a fishing rod slung across his right shoulder and his hammock wrapped under his left arm, Gavin strolled down toward the lake’s edge. A day of leisure would do him good—no clients, no deadlines, just him lying in the sun, angling for fish.
The corpse ended his whistling, and distant fighting noises reached Gavin’s ears at about the same time. Near the corpse, a beautiful rapier lay on the ground, but the corpse’s hat was exquisite: a deep blue with feathers in the latest swashbuckler’s style. Gavin wanted it, so he took it.
He also noted that the dead swashbuckler’s legs were covered by rusty spiked greaves. Gavin removed them as an idea formed in his head.
“Don’t.” Turmish looked at him quizzically. “It’s only a decorated tree, Gavin. Besides I am hungry and that goose looks tasty.”
“Again. Don’t. You know how druids get all excited during the season, so don’t. I am not going to save you. That,“ Gavin pointed at the large fir tree decorated with tinsel and baubles, “is a trap. I can feel it in my bones.”
Druids are scary. Their dealings with the fickle fey and their strange seasonal rituals can cause a certain “wrongness” when and wherever they decide to build a trap. The decorated tree with goose guardian is a perennial druidic favorite. Any who near it must deal with its various ornamental and enchanting abilities.
Tinsel Tie Trap CR 3 Type magical; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26 Trigger proximity; Reset automatic Effect tinsel touch (+10 melee, 2d6 slashing damage plus tinsel tie) Effect tinsel tie (gain the grappled condition; tinsel tie has a CMD of 20)
The tinsel is unnaturally strong. It has hardness 10 and 10 hp.
Ballistic Baubles Trap CR 3 Type magical; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26 Trigger proximity; Reset automatic Effect ballistic baubles (+5 ranged touch, treat as a ray of frost spell plus boreal bind) Effect boreal bind (succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or 1d3 Dex damage)
Fey Fir CR 10 Type magical; Perception DC 34; Disable Device DC 34 Trigger proximity; Reset automatic Effect fey fir (treat as the sympathy spell, DC 23 Will save negates); multiple targets (all humans within 100 ft.)
What can Gavin do with a fishing rod, rusty spiked greaves, a swashbuckler’s hat and a hammock?
Name four adventuring items and receive a murderous trap in return.
“What is a wizard? A wizard is a cold, calculating mind ruled by reason. A wizard possesses untold power.” After his little speech, Thersus proudly looked down on his pupil. “So, Gavin, do you want to be a wizard when you grow up?”
The boy looked Thersus up and down and answered, “You’re just a man. Daddy says men die.”
* * *
Gavin smiled as he remembered the beating that followed. Thersus had remained his tutor for the rest of the year, but his dad had been so very proud of him. “Strength is weakness, Gavin. Always remember that, but take care because shared knowledge can hurt you.”
Unwrapping the long metal cord he had coiled around his waist, Gavin looked around the wizard’s study. He noted a fine crystal ball, some sort of magic flask, and countless books and assorted scrolls. The key to a wizard’s demise remained the same: Angry wizards are not ruled by reason. They are just people when anger takes over, and people die.